Help Mike beat blood cancer

24 December 2007

We've been good this year, Santa!

7-year old Caille, Granny (my mom) and I felt the Christmas spirit on Saturday. EVERYONE needs a stocking! Not just the kids!!

We made a three-person assembly line and cranked those puppies out in one afternoon.



18 December 2007

Cute wallets hold gift cards

Thanks CheyElizabeth for the really cute idea (complete with tutorial) at craftster.org!

Perfect size for gift cards.

Check out the glass buttons (click the photo for larger view). I love them.

This project really was easy. It took less than an hour from start to finish to complete both.

I'll have to get busy and make a lot more tomorrow, because after that I have to put away the sewing stuff to make room for guests.

A happy Christmas through fancy footwear

Stockings, stockings, stockings!

Christopher and Caille came this weekend to help me get the house in a festive spirit, preparing for the family Christmas celebration.

Chris puts lights on the house, assembled the tree, decorated the mantle just so. All three of us decorated the tree. Then Caille and I decided to make stockings from some of my fabric remnants.

Caille did all the edge finishing and a lot of the embroidery. Christopher did the embroidery on his. I love it that my BL Ellure is easy enough for them to use!




















14 December 2007

On my clothes, up my nose

Another first for me: fur. What a nasty mess! On the floor, on my clothes, up my nose! After cutting, I took each piece outside in the back yard and shook out the loose fur. We're the only ones in our central Texas neighborhood who have a dusting of "snow."

El Fuego hoodie (or is that hoody?)

Flames of fleece. Believe it or not, this is the first thing I've ever made from fleece. I never got into that fad. But I love this jacket I made for Christopher!

07 December 2007

More pigs than peeps...

Let me explain something to those of you who may not realize: there are more pigs than people in Iowa. That's right. More pigs than peeps.

I love Mo Rocca and am a native Ames-ite and alumna of Iowa State. I simply must link to Mo's blog entry here, as he seems to have had a quick fling with a certain Iowa porcine named after him. Mo Rocca 180 "Check out my pig!"

I am seriously missing Iowa presidential election year politics.

Adventurers of All Kinds

M had a work-required costume party. Theme: adventurers of all kinds. Someone must have turned off his imagination. He was going to go as a pirate “because everyone else at work is a pirate.”

He showed me what he had gotten at the costume store down the street. Yes, there are lots of costume stores in Las Vegas. (Let’s not speculate about the reasons for this.) No way was my hubby going in THAT pirate costume. Eeesh. It was, shall we say, lame.

I made it my mission while I was in LV to find a better costume for the hubster. I did some research and found Williams Costume Company at 1226 South 3rd St downtown. Pull up in the parking lot and you are greeted by the enormous mural depicting a group of showgirls from the 1950s. I guess one of these beauties is the owner of the store.

As it says at LonelyPlanet.com, “Williams has supplied the Strip's starlets with DIY costuming raw goods since 1957. Check out the headshots in the dressing rooms, then pick up some rhinestones, sequins, feathers - you go girl! The staff are friendly and costume rentals are available.”

Nancy (she must be in her 80s but still wearing showgirl stage makeup) gave me a personal tour, helping me find a more suitable guise for my man. We settled on a crusader’s garb, consisting of a tunic, robe and crown. The costume didn’t include pants, so I said to Nancy “Does he just wear his own black pants with this?”

“Honey, I don’t care if he wears pants or not. This is Vegas,” she says.

Bah-dump-bump ( I could practically hear the drum after the punch line). Me, the straight man to Nancy’s funny. I had to hold on to the clothing rack to keep from falling down. I felt my face get warm, blushing. I’m not a prude. She just caught me off guard.

I had a more imaginative idea for a costume.

You know the head gear for a novice nun? Like that worn by Maria in “The Sound of Music?”

M could wear all his own clothes and hold one of his fat nasty cigars, wearing the novice nun hat. He could be a missionary… an adventurer for God. I guess I was the only one who thought that was funny.

Even Nancy didn't think it was funny. I explained my great idea and she just looked at me with those eye-shadowed eyes, deadpan.

M didn't like the "adventurer for God" idea, either. He refused to be that imaginative.

My husband, the crusader.

Heave Ho!

Had to return that lame pirate costume to the other place, though. When we got there, we were not allowed in. Criss Angel was inside filming a segment for his show. I think it’s called MindFreak? It was annoying. We stood outside for about an hour while his crew kept saying “Five more minutes and he’ll be done, dude.” Once they finally opened the doors, he was nowhere to be seen… must have run to the back with his entourage. So much for our almost B-list celebrity encounter.

02 December 2007

Flour Sack Towels - Embellished

The Central Texas Chapter of Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) is doing a service project. We are raising money by making gift baskets and auctioning them off. One basket's theme is "the kitchen." So... This weekend was spent getting to know the embroidery features of my BabyLock Ellure... by embroidering 15 flour sack kitchen towels.

They're kind of cute rolled in bowed bundle of three.

I also finished up Chrispy's shirt that matches little brother Connor's. Everything is the same, including the CP initials on the pocket.

Today I started on Chrispy's "flamin' hot" fleece hoody.

So much to do before Christmas!

29 November 2007

NYC, New Baby, San Diego, Las Vegas, Turkey Day

In New York city, our schedule was so crazy that Devon and I ended up having only 45 minutes to spend in the garment district fabric shopping. This made the experience less enjoyable than I had hoped it would be! I spent way too much on some beautiful wool suiting at B&J Fabrics. I also got a great retro-print oil cloth to make a diaper bag for the new baby. B&J gives you your purchase in a funky burlap bag with wooden handles. Someday soon I hope I can go back and spend more time!

Cameron Robert was born on Oct. 24. Everyone is healthy and now Bri and Steve have a brood of four. More grandchildren to sew for :-). I started by sewing up six sets of fitted bassinette sheets and matching blankets out of some cute flannels... and the retro diaper bag.

San Diego was cold, cloudy and spent indoors in a series of meetings. Stayed at the worst Hilton I've ever experienced. Can you say 'bad customer service?!' Not to mention rooms that look as though they were last updated in 1990. Don't stay there!

From SD, I went to Las Vegas to see Mike. During the time I was there he worked from about 9am to 11pm every day. I spent the days amusing myself in fabric stores and a kitchy costume shop and an almost run-in with another B celebrity (perhaps I'll tell you that story later).

Thanksgiving last week was spent in San Antonio with the whole gang, including a crazy mullet head (perhaps I'll tell you that story later... no, he's not the B celebrity). I taught Caille how to play Demon and she was trouncing us! Got in lots of family gaming time including War, Risk, Cranium, poker, Scrabble... you get the idea. Our family grooves on games.

More later... I'm looking forward to the first weekend at home in a long time.

11 October 2007

Knights, mermaids, wizards


I'm sick of tissue lame, but it sure was fun to work on these Halloween costumes for the kids.


Connor is a knight in shining armor. Not sure if you can see the detail when you click the photo bigger, but the designs on the armor are from hand-stitched quilting. It's Simplicity 4944.

Caille is a mermaid. Sequins on the skirt look like scales. The fins are given an extra umph from crinoline. I've never used crinoline before. Made from McCall's 5498.

Chris is a wizard. This costume was the easiest project. After cutting it out, It took about an hour and a half. It's Simplicity 3617.

I'll be going to SA to deliver the costumes personally tomorrow night. Can't wait for the fashion show!

04 October 2007

Halloween is coming

I have three costumes to make before Halloween. Busily sewing every free moment for my little mermaid, wizard, and knight in shining armor.

26 September 2007

Where are all the fabric stores?

Where are all the fabric stores? When I was a kid, I remember my mom swerving off the road at the sight of every fabric store. We would spend time going up and down each and every aisle, touching the fabric we liked. It's one of my fondest memories from childhood and a very important connection that I share with my mother.

I swear, there must have been a fabric store every 1/2 mile back in the day.

Not so anymore. I know Waco is a rather small city, but all we've got is a tiny, itty-bitty little Joann's, a Hobby Lobby with just about no apparel fabric to choose from, and a Wal-mart that's about to quit selling fabric. That's it.

Yes, one can order fabric over the internet, but there is no tactile satisfaction in this process. I mourn the demise of fabric stores.

Next month, my 25-year old daughter and I are going to New York and will spend an afternoon shopping for fabric at what I'm expecting to be some fantastic fabric stores. I'm looking forward to sharing the experience with her and I'll be thinking about my mom as I go up and down the aisles, pulling bolts, feeling the textures, smelling the sizing.

Order Vogue online, then get the sales flyer

I love Vogue patterns, but they are rather pricey. I thought I'd do the smart thing and order the three patterns I wanted online. If you order online, buy two patterns and get one free. What a deal, huh?

Today they came in the mail. So did my newest Joann's flyer, with an ad for $3.99 Vogue patterns. Wish I had waited.

Who says boys clothes aren't fun to make?

A nice, stripy shirt for Connor. A matching one is underway for big brother, Chrispy.

24 September 2007

Connor cargos


The BabyLock Ellure does embroidery, too. The initials "CP" apply to all of my grandchildren (so far) - even Colby [CORRECTION - CAMERON], due Nov. 1. These cargo shorts are for Connor. He's 2 years old and starting to talk on the phone.

For the Dolphins Fan


For the guy who still keeps his ticket stubs and season program from the team's perfect season in the 70's. He lives in Las Vegas, so watch for him in a sports book at your favorite casino during football season.

09 September 2007

Swingy, flowery dress for princess Caille



This weekend's project was a swingy, flowery little dress for princess Caille, my 7-year old granddaughter. This was made from Simplicity 5827, which was very easy to contruct.

The only thing I don't like about it is that I seem to have a problem keeping my stitching totally completely straight when I get to the zipper tab bump... I still have trouble with this! It's not awful, just a little bit off.

Any suggestions from sewing enthusiasts out there?

07 September 2007

Homeland Security at Work to Thwart Hawaiian Shirt and Cammo Pants







I guess bombs are never less than 13 ounces in weight? Who knew? I sent Chrispy his cammo shorts and hawaiian shirt on Tuesday via the U.S. Postal Service. I weighed the package on my postal scale and applied the (more than) correct amount of postage in stamps to the envelope. It was returned to me yesterday.

03 September 2007

Cammo Shorts for Chrispy


I hope he doesn't wear the cammo shorts with that hawaiian shirt :-) Again, Simplicity 5581, but enlarged the pattern.

By the way, we call him Chrispy because his last name starts with P... Chris P.

Hawaiian Shirt for Chris


My 9-year old grandson, Chris, likes a shirt that makes a statement. I made this one from Simplicity 5581. I had to enlarge the L boy's size. It's very difficult to find patterns for boys once they get past an 8.